Tell Kids or Don't tell kids... what did you do?

Hello! I just found out we will be getting our girl (still working on name) at the end of November! I'm so excited and nervous :) I've successfully made it out alive, four times in that newborn/toddler sleepless night stage but have never raised a puppy before!! I grew up with a dog and we adopted a dog from another family 4yrs ago when it was 6. She sadly passed away this summer and my kids were devastated. My youngest who is five asks or prays daily for a new dog. She wanted a "puppy" themed birthday party last week, complete with a doodle looking cake :) I just had to share a picture and no I am not that gifted! My friend is and made it for her!  

Did any of you surprise your kids, tell them beforehand? I go back and forth on just showing up with her or letting them in on the waiting and eager expectation! Plus if I tell them beforehand I can train them on how to care for a puppy. My kids are 13,10, 9 & 5. 

I have a 4 hr drive to pick her up and I am not planning on bringing any of my kids for that. 8 hrs in the car with the most likely arguing over who gets to hold her next ect. is not high on my fun things to do list :) That trip will just be my husband and I. 


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  • I definitely think you should tell them ahead so that you can teach them how to behave with a puppy. When we take our puppies to training class, we are actually training ourselves.
    Ensuring they know how to act with a young dog far out weighs the element of surprise.

    Also, they might have fun helping choosing the name and preparing your home for its arrival.
    Good luck and keep reading on DK on how to raise your doodle to be a great dog.
    • Thanks! And I agree. I think I might wrap up a book on how to care for your puppy geared more towards a youth/kid level and let them find out that way.

  • I'm sorry for your loss. It's so tough on the kids.

    My kids are younger than yours: 7,5 and 2. We decided to not tell them til we picked up our puppy. But our reasons were purely selfish. I did not want to hear "when will we get the puppy?" on repeat for two months.  So I think it just depends if you think they can handle it. Our breeder is three and and a half hours away, but my sister lives close by to her. We just told the kids we were going to visit Auntie for the weekend. And my sister watched the kids while we went to the breeder's house to pick up Bogey. I had this grand vision that we would record their surprise when we showed up with the puppy. Instead their response was more of shock and were speechless. hehe.

    The hard part of keeping it a surprise though was purchasing all the supplies. We waited til the last week so the kids wouldn't get tipped off. And let me tell you, buying everything all at once is a huge sticker shock.

    Either way you decide to go, the kids will be so excited! Congrats!

    • Thanks Jenn! That sounds like so much fun! :) Mine are a bit older... I'd be shocked if my 13 yr old daughter hasn't figured it out. I think I'm going to have to tell her soon!  Having stuff arrive from Amazon and figuring out where to put it all definitely plays into my thinking.

      If you have time I'd love to hear what things you bought that you love, maybe didn't need, wish you had thought to bought haha! I'm trying to find some group here that might give me some helpful tips. The books all give me checklists and that's been helpful. So far I can think of: 

      puppy pads for drive home

      Crate- will probably do one with a divider grow with me type 

      lots of toys


      blanket or two 


      brushes, clipers for nails and other hygiene stuff... 

      Thanks :) 

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